Before 'Smash,' 9 Other Shows That Were Supposed to Save NBC

More

From My Name Is Earl to Leno in primetime, a look at the at the shows that were hyped as hits for the last-place network

nbc_smash_banner.jpg

NBC

Can Smash save NBC? The fourth-place network says it needs the splashy, expensive musical series to be a big hit. ""We're in a pretty bad situation," NBC's entertainment director, Robert Greenblatt, told the New York Times last month. "We desperately need something to catch fire, and we hope this is it."

As desperate as Greenblatt sounds, Smash isn't the first show that's been tasked with "saving" the once-dominant network. For the past several years, series ranging from My Name Is Earl to The Event to a Betty White reality show have all been cast as NBC's last best hope. Here, a look at other series that were hyped as much-needed hits for the network—and how they ended up doing.

Jump to comments
Presented by

Eleanor Barkhorn is a former senior editor at The Atlantic.

Get Today's Top Stories in Your Inbox (preview)

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza


Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register. blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Why Do People Love Times Square?

A filmmaker asks New Yorkers and tourists about the allure of Broadway's iconic plaza

Video

A Time-Lapse of Alaska's Northern Lights

The beauty of aurora borealis, as seen from America's last frontier

Video

What Do You Wish You Learned in College?

Ivy League academics reveal their undergrad regrets

Video

Famous Movies, Reimagined

From Apocalypse Now to The Lord of the Rings, this clever video puts a new spin on Hollywood's greatest hits.

Video

What Is a City?

Cities are like nothing else on Earth.

Writers

Up
Down

More in Entertainment

Just In